(UPDATED) Hunger-Striking Political Prisoner in Critical Condition in Punishment Cell of Havana Prison

Ernesto Borges

The news that hunger-striking political prisoner Ernesto Borges was transferred on a stretcher to an unknown location form Combinado del Este Prison seems to have been a confusion and is false.  According to declarations made by Ernesto’s father, Raul Borges, to the Assembly of the Resistance, his son is currently in a punishment cell and in total isolation in the same Havana prison.  Raul added that Ernesto is in a very grave state of health, considering that he has lost many pounds and is suffering from arrhythmia.  He explained that he was allowed to see his son during a jail visit, but was warned that it’d be the last visit allowed.  According to Borges, his son was brought to him handcuffed, but despite his deplorable state of health and the constant threats and tortures he is subjected to by the communist prison functionaries, Ernesto Borges has kept firm and has declared that he will continue his hunger strike.

On Wednesday, February 22nd, the independent news agency ‘Hablemos Press’ published this report, where journalist Roberto Guerra explains that the situation of Ernesto Borges has gotten even worse, according to his father Raul Borges. In the report, Raul affirms that he does not know much information about his son, due to the fact that regime functionaries have refused him any information. Ernesto Borges has been on hunger strike since February 10th in the Havana prison of Combinado del Este, demanding freedom.

The hunger striker has been behind the bars of Cuban dungeons for more than 14 years.  He was previously a spy for Cuba, receiving training in the former Soviet Union in the KGB, but he became aware of the manipulations and lies of the Cuban dictatorship and decided to change his stance, providing American diplomats in Havana’s US Interests Section information on infiltrations occurring in the United States by Cuban agents.  According to his biography, another reason for which Borges decided to publicly oppose the Castro regime was Fidel Castro’s links to drug trafficking.  On July of 1998, Borges was caught, arrested and sentenced to 30 years of confinement for ‘espionage’.

Borges has maintained a firm stance during his imprisonment, despite suffering countless tortures, being denied the right to see his only daughter, and having contracted numerous diseases.  He had started a hunger strike on January 6th of 2012, but suspended it after a few weeks.  Now, without having fully recuperated from his previous protest, he re-initiated the hunger strike.  The political prisoner was previously being held in the Special Regime of Guanajay, in Artemisa, but was transferred to Combinado del Este on October of 2011.  His father has turned to just about every independent news source, especially Hablemos Press, to denounce his son’s situation, alleging that the Cuban dictatorship wants to do to him the same thing they did to Orlando Zapata Tamayo.

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